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The grim math of war

March 18, 2007|Swati Pandey

With Tuesday's fourth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, Current looks at American involvement in previous wars. -- Swati Pandey

Revolutionary War

Duration: Eight years

Deaths: 4,435*


War of 1812

Duration: Three years

Deaths: 2,260*


Mexican-American War

Duration: Two years

Deaths: 13,283


Civil War

Duration: Four years

Deaths: 524,332**


Spanish-American War

Duration: Less than one year***

Deaths: 2,446


World War I

Duration: One year

Deaths: 116,516


World War II

Duration: Four years****

Deaths: 405,399


Korean War

Duration: Three years

Deaths: 36,574


Vietnam War

Duration: Nine years

Deaths: 58,209*****


Persian Gulf War

Duration: Less than one year

Deaths: 382


Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)

Duration: Five years, ongoing

Deaths: 369 (as of March 10)


Operation Iraqi Freedom

Duration: Four years, ongoing

Deaths: 3,197 (as of March 16)


Source: Department of Defense

*Data for non-battle deaths are unavailable.

**This includes the official Defense Department figure for Union deaths; an unofficial Confederate death toll from the Provost Marshal General report, 1863-1866; and the estimated number of Confederate deaths in Union prisons.

***After hostilities ended, the U.S. oversaw the process of Cuban independence for about 3 1/2 years.

****The death toll includes those incurred from Dec 1, 1941, to Japan's acceptance of Allied peace terms on Aug. 14, 1945, plus the additional battle deaths incurred before President Truman declared the war ended on Dec. 31, 1946.

*****In addition to deaths that occurred during the war, from 1964 to 1973, the toll includes additional deaths incurred from 1955 to 1975.

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